Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety

During the 72-hour Roadcheck 2011 program last week, DPS and other Texas law enforcement agencies inspected 7,993 commercial vehicles. Of the vehicles inspected, 26.5 percent were placed out of service for safety violations.

Throughout Roadcheck, DPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement troopers, noncommissioned inspectors, and specially trained Highway Patrol troopers and officers from other agencies inspected safety equipment and checked driver log books, driver licenses and endorsements. They also looked for possible drug or alcohol use.

Officers placed 212 of the drivers (2.6 percent) out of service for reasons ranging from not properly tracking their hours of service to suspended, expired or cancelled driver licenses. Four drivers were placed out of service for drug or alcohol infractions. Troopers issued 17 tickets for seat belt violations.

Of the vehicles that were inspected, 26.5 percent were placed out of service because they were found to have serious enough safety violations to be removed from service until repairs could be made, including issues with the braking systems, tires, lights and safe loading.

The annual Roadcheck program, which stretches from Mexico to Canada, is designed to reduce commercial vehicle highway fatalities through increased vehicle safety. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which sponsors Roadcheck, reports a significant decrease in the commercial vehicle crash rate in North America since the program’s start in 1988.

Vehicles passing inspection received a CVSA decal exempting the vehicle from inspection for a 90-day period, unless they have an obvious safety defect. Troopers issued 2,515 decals during Roadcheck 2011.